Low testosterone level can make men depressed

Men with low levels of testosterone have higher rates of depression and depressive symptoms than the general population, new research says.

IANS| Last Updated: Mar 07, 2015, 14:13 PM IST

New York: Men with low levels of testosterone have higher rates of depression and depressive symptoms than the general population, new research says.

"This study found that men seeking management for borderline testosterone have a very high rate of depression, depressive symptoms, obesity and physical inactivity," said principal study author Michael Irwig, associate professor at George Washington University.

"Clinicians need to be aware of the clinical characteristics of this sample population and manage their comorbidities such as depression and obesity," Irwig noted.

The researchers studied 200 adult men between 20 and 77 years of age whose testosterone levels were borderline (between 200 and 350 nanograms per decilitre).

They remeasured the men's total testosterone and assessed depression from their medical history and depressive symptoms with the validated Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9).

The researchers found that 56 percent of the study participants had significant depressive symptoms, known diagnosis of depression and/or use of an antidepressant.

The population also had a high prevalence of overweight (39 percent), obesity (40 percent) and physical inactivity. More than half of the men were not found to be engaged in regular exercise.

The most common symptoms reported were erectile dysfunction (78 percent), low libido (69 percent) and low energy (52 percent). The findings were presented at ENDO 2015, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in San Diego.